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‘I Don’t Feel Joy’: Jaime Gough’s Parents Speak Out Following Death Of Killer Michael Hernandez

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CBS4's Joan Murray spoke with Jorge and Maria Gough. Read more: https://cbsloc.al/2SgomKB

Video Transcript

JORGE GOUGH: --was all devastated, because you know, God made us here, and we're not supposed to be killing each other.

- Now at 6:30, the parents of Jaime Gough, who was killed in 2004 by a fellow classmate, spoke out about what they felt when they found out that killer died in prison. Michael Hernandez was serving a life sentence when he allegedly collapsed to the ground and died. CBS 4's Joan Murray spoke to the Goughs this afternoon, and has more on their reaction.

JORGE GOUGH: That was very shocking for us.

JOAN MURRAY: From their new home in Boynton Beach, 70 miles away from where they lost their only son in a violent murder, Jorge and Maria Gough said when they learned about the unexpected death of their son's killer, they thought only of his family.

MARIA GOUGH: Because I know the experience. How painful it is to lose a child.

JOAN MURRAY: 31-year-old Michael Hernandez died at a Florida state prison in Central North Florida Thursday, where he was serving a life sentence. While his death is under investigation, sources tell CBS 4 it may be connected to a drug overdose.

- He aspired to become a serial killer.

JOAN MURRAY: It was back in 2004 when Hernandez was arrested for luring and, without mercy, fatally stabbing his friend, 14-year-old Jaime Gough, in the bathroom at Southwood Middle School, Palmetto Bay.

MICHAEL HERNANDEZ: And I wanted to apologize to his family, his mother and his father, because I didn't always feel this way.

JOAN MURRAY: At a resentencing hearing five years ago, Hernandez apologized while his parents and Gough's parents listened. He was sentenced once more to a life term. George and Maria Gough said they forgave Hernandez long ago.

JORGE GOUGH: You have the choice to either make this go worse, more hate, more anger. And then I will not be able to be peaceful between myself and my family.

JOAN MURRAY: And the couple has kept that message of peace and forgiveness alive, counseling others, helping to run a support group for people suffering through grief and loss.

JORGE GOUGH: My son and Michael should be alive. This should have never happened.

JOAN MURRAY: Jaime Gough's younger sister has graduated from college. Jaime would be 31 years old today. George and Maria Gough imagine the life he would be living.

JORGE GOUGH: I envision him like a professional, and with proper-- with family already. So many things.

MARIA GOUGH: Always I think of my son every day. And I have hope in my mind, my heart, that I'm going to see him one day. That's my strength.

JOAN MURRAY: The medical examiner has yet to give an exact cause of Michael Hernandez's death. The Goughs, meanwhile, think about their son everyday, and will continue to do everything they can to keep his memory alive. In Boynton Beach, Joan Murray, CBS 4 News.

- Today, the state attorney released a statement on Hernandez's death, saying, quote, "Jaime Gough's brutal murder ended a promising young life and forever scarred his family for them. This news still must tear at their hearts. I have always felt that Michael Hernandez's family were also Michael's victims. Upon his conviction, Michael Hernandez's family was also scarred by Michael's actions. My sympathies to both families," end quote.